NTSB Identification: SEA07LA132.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Lake Elsinore, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-26A, registration: N2707Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he took off at approximately 1330 local time and released from the tow plane at 2,800 feet above ground level (AGL). At the conclusion of the 30 minute flight, the pilot maneuvered the glider at 1,000 feet AGL to enter the downwind for the landing runway. According to the pilot, at the point where he normally entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the glider "encountered massive sink." The pilot determined that he would not make it back to the airport and searched for a place to land. The pilot maneuvered over some power lines and touched down on a roadway adjacent to a park The pilot started braking upon landing on the road, but the left wingtip wheel caught on a curb and turned the glider 90 degrees to the left. The glider exited the paved road and came to a stop, upright, as each wing impacted a small tree, and the nose of the glider impacted a wooden fence. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The glider's encounter with a downdraft while in the traffic pattern, resulting in insufficient altitude to reach the airport. A contributing factor was the pilot's selection of an unsuitable off-airport landing area, which led to an on-ground collision with a fence and trees.

Full narrative available

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